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Issue 14, 2015
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Antibody-free isolation of rare cancer cells from blood based on 3D lateral dielectrophoresis

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Abstract

We present an antibody-free approach for the high-purity and high-throughput dielectrophoretic (DEP) isolation of circulating tumour cells (CTCs) from blood in a microfluidic chip. A hydrodynamic sheath flow is designed upstream in the chip to direct the suspension samples to the channel side walls, thus providing a queue to allow DEP-induced lateral displacements. High-throughput continuous cancer cell sorting (maximum flow rate: ~2.4 mL h−1, linear velocity: ~4 mm s−1) is achieved with a sustained 3D lateral DEP (LDEP) particle force normal to the continuous through-flow. This design allows the continuous fractionation of micro/nanosized particles into different downstream subchannels based on the differences in their different critical negative DEP strengths/mobilities. The main advantage of this separation strategy is that increasing the channel length can effectively increase the throughput proportionally. The effective separation of rare cancer cells (<0.001%) from diluted human blood in a handheld chip is demonstrated. An enrichment factor of 105 and a recovery rate of ~85% from a 0.001% cancer cell sample are achieved at an optimal flow rate of 20 μL min−1 passing through a 6 cm long LDEP channel with an appropriate voltage at a frequency of 10 kHz. A higher throughput of 2.4 mL h−1 is also achieved with a 13 cm long metal-based microchannel.

Graphical abstract: Antibody-free isolation of rare cancer cells from blood based on 3D lateral dielectrophoresis

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Publication details

The article was received on 01 Feb 2015, accepted on 29 May 2015 and first published on 01 Jun 2015


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C5LC00120J
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Lab Chip, 2015,15, 2950-2959

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    Antibody-free isolation of rare cancer cells from blood based on 3D lateral dielectrophoresis

    I. Cheng, W. Huang, T. Chen, C. Liu, Y. Lin and W. Su, Lab Chip, 2015, 15, 2950
    DOI: 10.1039/C5LC00120J

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